Lifestyle

On the wings of Pegasus

The staff of Pegasus, the annual literary magazine published by Mercer Island High School students, from left includes advisor Erica Hill; Chris Hall, co-editor in chief; Kira Weiner, staff; Sophia Venditti, co-editor in chief, and staff members Shannon Bengston and Jion Kim. - Linda Ball/Staff Photo
The staff of Pegasus, the annual literary magazine published by Mercer Island High School students, from left includes advisor Erica Hill; Chris Hall, co-editor in chief; Kira Weiner, staff; Sophia Venditti, co-editor in chief, and staff members Shannon Bengston and Jion Kim.
— image credit: Linda Ball/Staff Photo

Erica Hill, the advisor to the Pegasus Literary Magazine, a once-a-year publication at MIHS, thinks the magazine’s history goes back to “sometime in the 1970s.”

It started as a simple black and white opus to showcase students’ creativity. Pegasus went full color a few years ago, and far more professional in appearance. But at its core, Pegasus is still a place to allow students to express themselves through writing short stories, poetry, ideas or thoughts, as well as original art or photography.

Throughout the academic year, the Pegasus staff raised funds by procuring sponsors so that they could produce the magazine and distribute it for free.

“Pegasus is a place for voices that otherwise wouldn’t be heard,” Hill said.

Hill said she recently received an e-mail from a former MIHS graduate, who is now 35 years old. The woman wondered if Hill could find a poem she submitted at age 18.

“I found it, and I am sending it to her, so she can hear her 18-year-old voice,” Hill said, beaming.

One of the co-editors this year is senior Chris Hall. Hall said they only censor when a submission “is absolutely over the line.”

Hill said the magazine is completely student run.

“They’re an amazing, motivated group of students,” Hill said.

Hall said English has always been his favorite subject and with his knowledge of technology to produce the magazine, it was a natural fit. His co-editor, Sophia Venditti, is an active writer in the Seattle community.

“I enjoy seeing what my peers are doing,” Venditti said. “Poetry, short stories and memoir essays are my favorites.”

This year’s cover art is by sophomore Julie Hamp. Her picture is based off of a scene in a story she was planning to write.

“I’ve always loved drawing dragons ever since I was in elementary school,” Hamp said. “They’re fantastic creatures that I would often fantasize about, but I never viewed them as the bloodthirsty, princess-kidnapping monsters that everyone made them out to be. There were countless books with dragons in them that I read, but none of them ever satisfied the image of the dragons I was looking for, so I began to create my own.”

Hamp created the picture using Photoshop CS4. She starts with a sketch she scans, or she opens an empty document on which she starts drawing.

“It’s very difficult to draw on the computer with a mouse though, so I also use a tablet, which is a drawing/writing device that is like a pad of paper that hooks up to the computer,” Hamp said. “You can draw or write on the tablet using a special pen, and it will follow your actions on the computer screen.”

Hamp said using a tablet is much more efficient than drawing with a mouse, because it’s much more fluid and more natural for artists. She said it took her about a month before she started getting the hang of it.

Hill expects Pegasus will be about 40 pages long this year, the same as last year. They will only print about 75 issues; if demand increases, they will procure another sponsor so that they can print more. Pegasus will be distributed at Island Books, various sponsors and the library. The magazine should be out by mid-June. If you can’t find a copy, contact erica_hill@misd.wednet.edu.

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